Improved ACC schedule could help vs. SEC

The 2013 ACC schedule finally evened the playing field a bit with the SEC.

One of the most important bonuses of the ACC schedule that was released on Monday was the league’s new and improved philosophy of lightening the load the week before the SEC rivalry games.

In 2012, Florida State played back-to-back road games against Virginia Tech and Maryland before lining up against rival Florida and losing, 37-26. Meanwhile, the Gators had prepped for their regular-season finale with scrimmages against Louisiana-Lafayette of the Sun Belt and FCS Jacksonville State.

This year? Florida State will be playing Idaho on Nov. 23.

In 2012, Clemson got into a shootout with NC State the week leading up to the South Carolina game. The Tigers won the Atlantic Division game, 62-48. You know who Steve Spurrier was playing that week? Wofford.

This year, Clemson will face The Citadel on Nov. 23.

In 2012, Georgia Tech’s bowl eligibility and a chance to play in the ACC title game were on the line against Duke. Elsewhere in the state, there was a big game against Georgia Southern.

This year, the Jackets will play a home game against Alabama A&M of the mighty SWAC before taking on Georgia.

No, the scheduling isn’t THE reason the ACC went 0-3 against its SEC rivals last November, but it certainly didn’t help an already uphill climb. The 2013 schedule is an upgrade in that regard, and should at least take some pressure off of the players and coaches in the week leading up to one of the biggest games of the year.